HoopsHype Sam Presti rumors

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March 20, 2015 Updates
March 11, 2015 Updates
March 10, 2015 Updates

But what you might not be aware of is that NBA analyst and former NBA executive Tom Penn thinks Westbrook's hot streak could have Oklahoma City Thunder management thinking about moving Durant next season: "I think this burst from Westbrook makes it much more likely that Durant ultimately gets traded next year. ... Sam Presti has proven that he does not ever want to lose anybody for nothing. So he traded James Harden a year early to avoid a potential luxury tax problem a year later. ESPN.com

"The Kevin Durant drumbeat next year is going to be so loud because he will not commit early to Oklahoma City contractually because the rules are against that. He can't get the same contract if he signs early as if he just goes to free agency and resigns. So if Sam Presti doesn't get that commitment, he'll look to to trade Kevin Durant. And looking at the performance of Westbrook and the team around Westbrook will make it easier for him to do that potentially." ESPN.com

February 20, 2015 Updates

And hours before general manager Sam Presti pulled the trigger, Russell Westbrook – one of the franchise’s two cornerstone – said he and Kevin Durant had no desire to be consulted on the decision. “Not my job,” Westbrook said. “My job is to come out and play. We have a great general manager, great owner and great coach who have done a great job thus far putting this team together. So I’m pretty sure they know what’s best for us.” When asked if Presti ever comes to them to gather their opinion, Westbrook reiterated his previous answer in the most Westbrook way possible. “I don’t want to repeat the same answer, so whatever I just said last time use it as that answer,” he said. Oklahoman

January 16, 2015 Updates
January 5, 2015 Updates

“Dion Waiters is a player that we’ve tracked and liked since his time at Syracuse, in the NBA, and with USA Basketball. Dion provides another proven scorer that positively impacts our roster and adds depth and flexibility,” said Presti. “We have a lot of respect for his toughness and competitiveness, and believe that he is a physical playmaker who will enhance the versatility of our team. We are excited to welcome Dion to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization.” NBA.com

October 23, 2014 Updates

Jackson, a lightning-quick backup point guard, stepped up last season while Westbrook was recovering from knee surgery and eventually moved into the starting lineup during the Western Conference Finals. He is a restricted free agent next year. The last time the Thunder had such a talented perimeter player along with Durant and Westbrook, they eventually traded James Harden to Houston. Thunder general manager Sam Presti said he wants Jackson to remain a piece of the puzzle. "I think we've been really clear about his importance to the team, that we see him as a core member of the team, as a core member of the organization," Presti said. "We're going to put our best put forward, and I believe he will as well. We'll see if we can figure something out." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

September 29, 2014 Updates

The Oklahoma City Thunder has made multiple promotions and additions to its Basketball Operations and Blue staffs, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. The Thunder has promoted Jesse Gould to director of basketball research and analysis and Ryan Lambert to college scout. In addition, the club has added Adam Harrington as shooting coach, David Howarth as athletic performance coordinator, Steve Scalzi as video analyst, and Oliver Winterbone as basketball information analyst. The Blue has hired Phil Beckner, Royal Ivey, and Drew Jones as assistant coaches. NBA.com

September 25, 2014 Updates

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Thursday he hasn't considered trading guard Reggie Jackson if no contract extension is reached before the Oct. 31 deadline. "We don't look at [Jackson] as anything other than a core member," Presti said. "We want to invest in Reggie. There's not a lack of clarity in that regard. Figuring out how best we do that is my job. And I'm going to do everything I can because I believe that he's a great example of a lot of things that we try to do here. He was drafted, he's been developed by our coaches and our support staff and the next step is to keep him with us for a long time." ESPN.com

"That's just not something we've considered," Presti said about the possibility of repeating a trade with Jackson. "I think with him in particular he's a guy we see being here for a long time. It may not be something we get solved in October, but the system is set up to try and give you an early opportunity to do that and we'll try to take advantage of that. We want to get things done in advance if possible, but if not, we'll pick it up next season and do it in earnest again." ESPN.com

August 7, 2014 Updates
July 5, 2014 Updates

The Oklahoma City Thunder has named Darko Rajakovic as assistant coach, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Rajakovic has spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder’s NBA D-League affiliate. “Darko’s diverse basketball background, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players at a high level were clearly apparent during his time in Tulsa, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our staff,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “His understanding of the core tenants of what we do, thanks to his time in Tulsa, will maintain a level of consistency that we value and his various head coaching experiences internationally will provide another layer to our coaches.” NBA.com

July 2, 2014 Updates
June 22, 2014 Updates

All three of those picks worked better than expected. Durant and Westbrook are perennial All-Stars, and Ibaka is one of the best defenders in the NBA. Presti was astute, but he admits luck played its part. “We’ll be the first to say that we’ve had a tremendous amount of good fortune. Nobody in our organization is taking credit for the development of Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook,” said Presti, a Concord native and former Emerson College player. “Our focus was on building a team that was capable of sustainable competitive success. We felt like building through the draft and building an identity for a team over a period of years was the best approach for us. It’s really so much about the individual team and organization and how they see their envisioned future.” Boston Globe

June 16, 2014 Updates

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